Sure, it's not the latest hottest ish from Subaru, like the WRX STi or Legacy GT, but the utilitarian Outback is sleek and peppy, not unlike that cheerleader who dumped you senior year for the chiseled starting QB. Still stings, doesn't it? Anyway, the Outback has a semi-luxury thing going on, with upscale leather and wood materials throughout the cabin. Its rearward compartment affords 33.5 cubic feet of space with the back seats up, and 66 when they're folded, just slightly less than the outgoing model. Three engines are available: a 168-hp 2.5 liter four, a 250-hp 2.5 liter turbo four, and a 250-hp 3.0 liter six (tested). Yes, I too am wondering why have two engines with the same output, despite the obvious differences in power delivery. The suspension is stiff but not rough, which is just how your now-lost-forever cheerleader liked it, and the car now rolls less around turns and has a tighter turning circle to help facilitate illegal u-turns at dangerous intersections. All this greatness will cost you, though— the price for the L.L. Bean model tested has been jacked up by 1,775 bones (insert final vulgar cheerleader joke here), to just over $32,195.



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